Casper visits his Dad in the hospital after he was beat up. He then gets a ride with T’challa and one of the Dora Milaje. On the way he lusts after the Dora and Laments his relationship. Elsewhere Sal meets with a rep of the 66 bridges ad eyes Tork as the person impersonating the Black Panther. At the precinct Casper gets then name of the person who sent out the hit on his Dad. Scruggs then reveals that they know the new Black Panther is a cop. Casper bolts and Scruggs confirms with Sal that Tork is the Panther. Casper visits Tork thinking they know who he is. Tork sends Casper home to lay low for awhile. Tork then gets shot and taken away by Scruggs. At home there’s an eviction notice on the door and his mom and baby moma are screaming inside. He takes his girl to Lamaz class and has an epiphany before donning the costume again. Meanwhile Tork is tortured for being the Black Panther.
Story- It’s always refreshing after reading any other comic to just come back and read an issue penned by Christopher priest. Everything flows like a well oiled machine, with purpose without fluff with hidden meanings you didn’t even realize where there. Here Tork gets taken down as the Panther and lies about it to protect Casper. The mystery of who leads the 66 bridges comes to a head and the fate of Casper’s personal, professional and superhero life are all on the line.
Characterization- Casper lusting after the perfect Dora was completely understandable. Everyman whether he loved his woman or not cant help but occasionally be held captive of the thought of the uncharted territory of a new woman, especially when said woman looks like a supermodel and smells like heaven. That’s the truth ladies we love you but “them the brakes”! Casper is also still conflicted about what he’s doing with his baby momma, he’s not in love with her, they would not be together without her being pregnant and man if that conflict doesn’t fill him with a sense of duty but also a sense of being chained down. Good realistic stuff right there. I’m sure many brothers can relate to that!
The father/son bond between Tork and Casper is also apparent. Tork may in fact be a better father to Casper than his old man. The idealism surrounding Casper’s dad Black Jack is realistic in many ways especially in light of him being removed from Casper’s life. Man children who grow up with either a parent dead or far removed like Black Jack are turned into something they re not an Ideal. The antithesis of those around you, something to aspire to, alas sometimes the reality is far too real and damning when it finally crashes down.
Length– The storyline is a bit long, if you like one off tales this is not for you.
T’challa- Fans of T’challa will be pissed at his limited panel time.